Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Looking to 2014

Love this verse I found for the new year...  
"But the land you are crossing the Jordan to take possession of is a land of mountains and valleys that drinks rain from heaven. It is a land the Lord your God cares for; the eyes of the Lord your God are continually on it from the beginning of the year to its end" Deuteronomy 11:11-12

Friday, November 25, 2011

Burdened to Soar

     I have gotten into a new pattern where each night I ask God for some gem to sustain me for the next day.  Wednesday night it was "But I call to God, and the Lord saves me.  Evening, morning, and noon I cry out in distress, and He hears my voice." (Psalm 55:16,17)  Little did I know how much I would need that reassurance the next day. I did not anticipate Thanksgiving would be so hard. I did not dread it like I did my birthday, but all of a sudden the grief started bubbling out.  I was flooded with memories of my mom and I's last holiday together - trying to be thankful in Tucson even though I was away from my husband and kids, in the midst of fighting a battle to move mom to Kansas City to be in hospice at my Uncle's house.  
     So I let the tears come - those burdensome tears.  It says in Psalm 55:6 to cast your burdens on the Lord and He will sustain you.  As I studied Psalm 55 more thoroughly I read in Streams in the Desert that the word burden is what Jehovah has given you. Burdens are given by God so we might wait on Him.  It said that after the waiting, He transforms the burden into a pair of wings but us casting them on Him and trusting Him to take care of them.  Only then are we able to "soar on wings like eagles" (Isa. 40:31)
O paradox of Heaven. The load 
We think will crush was sent to lift us 
Up to God! Then, soul of mine,
Climb up! Nothing cane'er  e crushed
Save what is underneath the weight.
How may we climb! By what ascent
Will we crest the critical cares
Of life! Within His word is found
The key which opens His secrets stairs;
Alone with Christ, secluded there,
We mount our loads, and rest in Him.
      by Mary Butterfield

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Back in the Game

I have climbed out of the cave I have been hibernating in and started to have some fun again after a season of grieving.  My first new adventure was a visit to Keeneland Racetrack on a beautiful Sunday afternoon... 



We sat right in front of the finish line.  It was easy to feel the excitement and disappointment!  We watched the horses race on turf and dirt, ate BBQ pork nachos, tried out some parasols  - I felt like a true Kentuckian!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Missing Mom

It has been a week since my mom's funeral and a little over 2 weeks since she has passed.  Her leaving has left a huge hole in our lives.  When I was going through her things I found this - I think she wanted me to find it:


Now that I am gone, remember me with smiles and laughter.  And if you need to cry, cry with your brother or sister who walks in grief beside you.  And when you need me, put your arms around anyone and give them what you need so much.  I want to leave you something - something much better than words or sounds...Look for me in the people I have known or helped in some special way.  Let me live in your heart as well as in your mind.  You can love me most by letting your love reach out to our loved ones, by embracing them and living in their love.  Love does not die, people do.  So, when all that is left of me is love, give me away as best you can.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Thorns...


I had an amazing week spending time with my mom and yet it was bitter sweet.  I treasure the special talks and memories, but have an aching pain as I watch her fighting this lung cancer beast. Sometimes I feel so helpless.  Those why questions come pouring out to God and He comforts me with this poem. 
Strange gift indeed! – a thorn to prick -
To pierce into the very quick;
To cause perpetual sense of pain;
Strange gift!  And yet, twas given for gain.

Unwelcome – yet it came to stay;
Nor could it e’en be prayed away.
It came to fill its God-planned place –
A life-enriching means of grace.

And he who bore it, day by day,
Found Christ his power, his strength, his stay;
In weakness gloried, since there by
The power of Christ might on him lie.

On much-tired saint, with fainting heart,
The thorn with its perpetual smart,
With all its wearing ceaseless pain
Can be thy means of priceless gain.

God’s grace-thorns- ah what forms they take!
What piercing, smarting pain they make!
And yet, each one in love is sent,
And always just for blessing meant.

And so, what e’er thy thorn may be,
From God accept it willingly;
But reckon Christ – His life – the power
To keep, in thy most trying hour.

And save – thy life will richer grow;
He grace sufficient will bestow:
And in Heav’ns morn thy joy twill be
That, by His thorn, He strengthened thee.

J. Danson Smith

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Peace

I am turning over a new leaf and trying to be more regular at posting. Stu was gone this weekend and we had lots of storms come through. When I know there is severe weather coming in the middle of the night, I get a little nervous about going to bed because I am the one "responsible," so I left my weather radio on and it warned me ALL night long - so much so that I reached over to turn it off and bumped my forehead on the corner of my nightstand. I awoke very groggy and the verse that kept coming to my head was Psalm 4:8 "I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety." When we went to church that morning, this verse was part of the message on having peace. Next time I am going to trust in the Lord instead of my weather radio - I am sure to have a more peaceful night sleep! Speaking of peace, that is what drew me to this picture - it was a place that I would love to go and enjoy listening to the the cool breeze through the trees and hear the bubbling brook - maybe even climb a few trees. It makes me think of Psalm 23:2-3 "He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul..."I spent 8 months trying to replicate it but I just couldn't get it how I thought it should be. Here it is anyway. Hope you enjoy it.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Slowing Down

"Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God:
But only he who sees, takes off his shoes;
The rest sit around it, and pluck blackberries."
- Elizabeth Barrett Browning

A friend of mine got me this great book for my birthday called Not So Fast - Slow-Down Solutions for Frenzied Families by Ann Kroeker. I have only read the first chapter but already know this is something my soul needed to hear. I often feel like I am juggling way to many balls and am unable to keep all of them going up in the air at the same time. We seem to go from one pressing thing to the next with very little time for stopping and enjoying the moment. This is not what I want our family life to be like.

There is a great article about how a world famous violinist, dressed in ordinary clothes, played for people hurrying through the metro in DC. During the 43 minutes that he played, 1,097 people went by, and only 7 stopped to listen!

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/04/AR2007040401721.html

I want to be one of the seven that stop and listen - Lord may I stop and look for You and wait for You and listen for You and ENJOY all the beautiful gifts that you have given me.

(This photo is taken by Lizzy - our budding photographer - I could use a few lessons from her about stopping and noticing beauty)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

International Fair

The kids went to a home school International Fair this month. They all worked hard on their country and displayed it for everyone to see as well as taste! Here are the highlights...


Monday, August 31, 2009

The New Do...


I got my hair cut and ironed for the first time ever -
it took her an hour and a half!
I don't think that is something I would like to add into my morning routine!
But, it was fun to look like someone else for a couple of days !

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Cumberland Falls State Park

We had a great end of the summer last hoorah at Cumberland Falls.
It was quite an impressive waterfall with a huge run off for August.

video

We stayed in a cottage that reminded me of the cabins my family and I stayed in growing up at the YMCA Camp in Estes Park, CO. I would recommend staying at the lodge, too.





The view from the lodge of the Cumberland River was spectacular! Each evening we would watch the raccoons from the picture window in the dining hall as they came up from under the brush and foraged under the
bird feeders.





I enjoyed watching the Goldfinches flitter around.
I can see why they call them Wild Canaries!

The highlight, though, was our white water rafting trip with Sheltowee Trace Outfitters.
We had an amazing guide who really new the river and maneuvered us safely through some Class III/IV rapids - I was a little nervous after being dumped out in the Gallatin River in MT.
We were able to get out of the boat and float down part of the river on our own.
I think the kids favorite part was jumping off a rock and watching mom and dad jump!

Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto, Japan
Cherry Blossoms

Mt. St. Helens - Washington

Mt. St. Helens - Washington
Beauty out of Ashes

Smokey Mountains - Tennessee

Smokey Mountains - Tennessee
Spring Carpet of White Trillium